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Eurofighter Typhoon Has Good Showing In 'Spring Flag 2008'

Italian Exercise Demonstrates New Fighter's Capabilities

The 2008 edition of "Spring Flag", the most important annual exercise of the Italian Air Force, was hosted by 9o Gruppo and XII Gruppo, with their Eurofighter Typhoons taking the lead in the Air Dominance role.

Running from April 4-16, the NATO-organised complex hypothetical scenario featured two combat forces in a "good versus bad" struggle to achieve their operational objectives. All aircraft were fitted with flight recording instrumentation providing the Command and Control teams with real time data monitoring all manoeuvres carried out by each aircraft during the exercise. This information is then used by the exercise co-ordinators for the improvement of aircrew and ground crew training, as well as offering scope for developing the overall organisation of the exercise which, in reality, are the ultimate aims in this kind of operation.

The Spring Flag exercise is planned and executed to verify the Air Force's deployment capability. Italian officials say the Typhoons performed remarkably well, building on the successes of recent deployments to the United Kingdom, Belgium and Spain, and demonstrating how the aircraft, although still making its first forays into frontline service, already combines excellent operational reliability with a logistics support capability to maintain the aircraft even in the most complex scenarios.

The operations during the exercise have focused on air defence and ground attack, carried out using Eurofighter Typhoons and Tornados versus F-16s and F-18s. Also involved were Italian AMX jets, the so-called "Slow Mover Interception" force of Aermacchi MB-339CDs, and AgustaWestland HH-3F helicopters.

FMI: www.eurofighter.com

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